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Got International? FedEx Helps Deliver Simpler Access to Cross-border Philanthropy

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In January 2003, some household name US corporations were featured in a story in the Financial Times. The story reported that the companies had given financial donations to a charity linked to a terrorist organization. The names of the companies were included in the headline of the story. Ouch. One of the companies had a matching grant program. One of their employees donated to a charity that turned out to be indirectly associated with a terrorist organization and when the matching grant program kicked in the company made a direct donation to that organization.

Navigating the USA PATRIOT Act, excise tax obligations, executive orders and other intricacies of cross-border philanthropy is quite complex. Thankfully, there are some great organizations in the U.S. that help corporations and individuals with international grant making. An organization that FedEx has worked with for many years in this space is United Way Worldwide (UWW). They have an international donor advised giving (IDAG) program which wonderfully simplifies and enables international grant making.

FedEx serves more than 220 countries and territories. Around the world, our team members engage with local charities providing volunteer support and assistance. We also have some major global philanthropic initiatives underway in the areas of disaster relief, sustainable transportation, road safety and education. We work with global and local charities to help make a positive difference in the communities we serve.

For many years, we have taken advantage of UWW’s IDAG program. They have provided excellent service in helping us provide funding to local charities worldwide in support of the volunteer work our team members are doing in their communities to help increase the capacity of these charities to make a difference.

In addition to helping navigate the above mentioned intricacies, UWW also manages the due diligence process, ensuring, among other things, that the local charity is on stable financial footing, has good governance, has a very specific plan on how they will be using the grant dollars, and has the capacity to provide follow-up reporting on the outcomes of the work to be funded by the grant.

In order to help increase the capacity of UWW to help other corporations and individuals fulfill their international philanthropic vision, FedEx provided funding to UWW to help them create and launch a more robust website that will help expand their reach and make it easier for others to take advantage of their expertise, guidance and services. The website is launching this February. The site address is http://worldwide.unitedway.org/IDAG/home.

From supporting local environmental education initiatives in China, to child road safety initiatives in the UK, to disaster relief work in Japan, and other local initiatives in dozens of markets around the world, UWW has helped FedEx make a difference.

If your corporation needs assistance in cross-border grant making, or if you are an individual with a desire to make charitable investments outside the US, you may find UWW’s site and their IDAG program just the ticket to do just that.

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I'm so blessed to be a FedEx volunteer and to be apart of United Way. I have been so touched by all the people and children that I have helped, and it has changed my life for the better. Thank you FedEx for giving me this wonderful volunteer opportunity.

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